Tai Chi for arthritis has been practised in China for centuries. Its effectiveness depends on the practitioner’s ability to perform correct posture and transfer of weight, controlled breathing, tension release, calmness of the mind and co-ordination of body movements.
In ancient times, practitioners of Chinese traditional medicine discovered that, performed slowly, the same components of tai chi that led to its success as an internal martial art, also held great therapeutic properties for the promotion and maintenance of health and well-being.
The combination of controlled movement in a state of relaxation, creates a ‘moving meditation’ exercise, making tai chi a safe form of complementary and alternative medicine that may be practised by people of all ages and abilities.
Many modern medical and scientific studies have been conducted on the benefit and effects of tai chi as a complimentary medicine for specific diseases and health related conditions. For those who suffer from arthritis, tai chi has been shown to offer positive health benefits.
In our experience at the Golden Lion Academy, we’ve found that apart from our tai chi programme for arthritis, our Dao Yin Chi Kung programme has also been very helpful.
Arthritis is a general term that includes about 150 different conditions that cause pain, stiffness and inflammation in one or more joints. It is known that some types of exercises, for example tai chi, can reduce some of the symptoms of arthritis and improve joint mobility and strength.
Benefits of Tai Chi for Arthritis
If you suffer from joint or muscle problems, you’ll be pleased to know that our tai chi for arthritis programme can offer the following benefits:
- Eases joint pain and stiffness and improves range of motion
- May inhibit development of joint deformity
- Develops muscular strength and endurance, assisting weakened joints
- Improves flexibility
- Improves posture
- Reduces the effects of thinning of the bones (osteoporosis) by maintaining bone density through weight-bearing exercises
- Assists in maintaining a healthy body weight
- Is an effective program for stress management
- May reduce or alleviate many symptoms associated with arthritis such as pain and anxiety.
Tai Chi for Arthritis and Depression
Medical science has established a link between depression and pain. For many people with arthritis who suffer from chronic depression, increased pain and reduced pain tolerance can impact negatively on coping ability and quality of life. Concurrently, the reverse situation may also occur, where the chronic symptoms of arthritis such as pain, sleep disruption, inability to perform activities of daily living, loss of enjoyment, may result in temporary or chronic depression.
Using a calm and relaxed state of mind, tai chi assists to relieve anxiety, improves concentration, heightens awareness, raises self-esteem and self-confidence, while promoting a sense of ‘completeness’ and well-being.
With regular practice, tai chi provides relief from depression, making it a safe and effective form of stress-management. See also Tai Chi for Mental Health and Stress Management.
Master Charles Tsui-Po of the Golden Lion Academy offers you some important advice and reminds you of the special precautions you must take during your tai chi for arthritis exercise programme if you suffer from arthritis. Please see various articles that can help you if you’d like to do tai chi to help your arthritis.
If you are interested in attending regular classes to help you with your arthritis, please call us on our central telephone number 9796-1066 for class times and fees or email us through our contact-us form.